Karthik Pasupathy (aka KP)

Zoom Score: A Metric That Could Define the Future of Remote Work

Karthik Pasupathy (aka KP)

Last week, I spent 21 hours on Zoom meetings.

Lately, I realized that I am spending a lot of time on Zoom, so I decided to track it. I used Toggl to track the number of hours I am spending on Zoom meetings. At the end of my work week, I found out that I spent over 21 hours on zoom meetings with an average of 3.75 hours each day. That is almost half the time of my entire workweek (considering a 45-hour workweek.)

As every IT organization moved remote over the past month, employees spend more time on video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Webex, Jitsi, etc. Off all the video conferencing apps, Zoom is making headlines for good as well as bad reasons. Despite their security and privacy concerns, Zoom is growing at a rapid pace. As of April 22, 2020, the platform reported a user base of 300 million participants each day.

In my opinion, Zoom has the resources and the potential to monopolize the entire video-conferencing market. If they do everything right, in a few years, Zoom will be a synonymous name for video conferencing like how Google is for search.

This situation made me think of a crazy idea. What if organizations start evaluating candidate profiles based on their behavior and the number of hours they had spent on Zoom!

If you’re surprised, I must say this is not uncommon. The number of hours you spend on doing something is taken as experience in certain sectors. One good example is flight hours. The experience of an aircraft pilot is measured based on the number of hours they spent in the sky.

But, that’s not it. A lot of other industries also use a similar approach to evaluate people. Let me give you a couple of examples.

Credit Scores and Car Insurance

If you’re a credit card user, you must have come across the term credit score.

A credit score is something that defines your creditworthiness. Based on your historical credit spending and repayment behavior, you’ll be given a score out of 900. This score is considered when you’re applying for new credit cards, loans, etc. The higher the credit score number, the better are your chances of getting a loan or a fancy credit card. Companies like Experian, CRIF, etc. specialize in reporting consumer credit scores.

Similarly, in the US, insurance companies have started using Telematics insurance or Usage-Based Insurance(UBI) for automobiles. The insurance premium you pay every year will be based on your driving distance, mileage, location, time, and driving behavior.

If you are a rash driver, you will be paying a higher premium because the insurance companies will know that the probability of you getting into an accident is high. On the other hand, a disciplined driver who follows all the rules will end up paying a lower premium. The cars today have enough technology built into them to track driving behavior and communicate the same to car manufacturers and the insurance companies.

The amount of data available on something can change the way a business works. Now imagine! With a ton of audio and video data collected with each Zoom call, it can change the way organizations recruit people.

The Theory of Zoom Score

Similar to a credit score, what if each professional is assigned a Zoom score. Each person is given an aggregate score out of 100 based on various parameters such as,

Hours spent on Zoom calls that had more than three people (to track collaboration)

Collecting all this information is fairly simple. I am not a techie, but I am pretty sure building an AI model to track these things from Audio and video data is highly doable. And, the model can be made very accurate as there are 300 million active users on Zoom every day.

Imagine every LinkedIn profile with a badge for the Zoom score, and you need to have a specific Zoom score if you wish to apply for a job in a remote-first company.

This would totally change the game. Your potential employer would know more about you the moment they see your profile on LinkedIn. They can understand what kind of person you are and whether you a culture fit or not even before they establish the first contact with you.

And, companies have already started figuring some of this. In fact, the Zoom marketplace has a couple of apps that track user data for better business insights.

For example, People.ai has a Zoom integration that can help organizations track the total time spent by their sales reps on customer meetings every month.

So, the day when you’re asked for your Zoom score might not be that far.

Soon, companies will build apps and integrations to display your Zoom score. These apps can also go a step further and offer you an analysis report of what kind of a person you are!

Another thing that might happen is, these apps might also cross-reference your Zoom score and personality traits to compare with the employer database and show you a list of companies you could get into. It can also offer you the probability of you getting into an organization when you tried to apply it.

Even though most of this sounds like something right out of a sci-fi book, the possibility of this happening is not very far.

Maybe I’m imagining too much. I should stop now!

Take care and have a great day!

#technology #ux